The Importance of Putting Ourselves First

March 27, 2024

I had a nice catch up with a friend yesterday; they have been very poorly recently and hadn’t been in touch for a while which is quite unusual as we tend to chat at least on a weekly basis.

We’ve known each other for over two and a half years now, and have shared many personal things with each other, perhaps even things we don’t speak about to those closest to us. It’s strange to describe but I guess those of you who have served may know what I mean when I say you can feel it’s OK to open up with some people because they will be loyal to you.

Feeling safe in someone’s company /energy (if online) is a different type of intimacy. We’re close enough that in the past, I have woken up knowing I’ve had to go online. Recently they messaged me to say that they had just woken up with an urge to get in touch.

Over our time together, I have recognised that they are a kind and thoughtful person who is always thinking of their family. However this I feel has left them constantly striving to make sure that everyone around them is OK without a thought for themselves. This is something that us mothers are good at doing; we put ourselves last in our needs, making sure that everything and everyone is sorted before collapsing in an exhausted sleep only to wake up the next day with the next set of jobs.

Other may like taking care of people because it heals that part of ourselves that needed someone to do for us in the past.

Putting yourself first is essential for several reasons:

  1. Self-care: Prioritizing yourself allows you to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Just like the instructions on an airplane to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others, taking care of yourself ensures you have the energy, resilience, and capacity to support others effectively.
  2. Setting Boundaries: Putting yourself first helps you establish healthy boundaries in your relationships and commitments. It empowers you to say no to things that drain you or do not align with your values, thereby preserving your time and energy for activities and people that truly matter to you.
  3. Personal Growth: Focusing on yourself enables personal growth and self-improvement. It allows you to invest in activities that nurture your passions, develop your skills, and expand your horizons. Whether it’s pursuing further education, learning a new hobby, or simply taking time for self-reflection, prioritizing yourself fosters continuous growth and fulfillment.
  4. Emotional Well-being: Putting yourself first involves prioritizing your emotional needs and advocating for your own happiness. This might involve surrounding yourself with supportive relationships, practicing self-compassion, and seeking help when needed. When you prioritize your emotional well-being, you build resilience and develop healthier coping mechanisms for life’s challenges.
  5. Authenticity and Self-Expression: Prioritizing yourself allows you to live authentically and express your true self. It involves honoring your values, beliefs, and desires, even if they may differ from those around you. Embracing your authenticity fosters a sense of empowerment and confidence in navigating life on your own terms.
  6. Leading by Example: Putting yourself first can inspire others to do the same. By demonstrating self-respect and self-care, you set a positive example for those around you, whether it’s your family, friends, or colleagues. This ripple effect can contribute to a culture of mutual respect, empathy, and well-being within your community.
  7. Fulfillment and Happiness: Ultimately, prioritizing yourself leads to a greater sense of fulfillment and happiness. When you invest in your own growth, well-being, and authenticity, you cultivate a deeper connection with yourself and a greater appreciation for life’s experiences. By honoring your own needs and desires, you pave the way for a more fulfilling and meaningful existence.

We need to learn that we are enough and our self love must always be stronger than our need to be loved by others. We should never negotiate our value with anyone and remember that we teach people how to treat us by what we accept from them.

One day, I hope you put yourself and your happiness first J…

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